Celebrating Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month

by | May 17, 2021 | Carer News

Throughout June, we’re supporting Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month and celebrating their diverse communities.

What is Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month?

The month takes place every year in June and raises awareness of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities in the UK. Gypsies, Roma and Travellers (GRT) are the largest ethnic minority community in the European Union with over 12 million people across the EU and around 300,000 in the UK. They are often marginalised and suffer extreme levels of prejudice and discrimination. Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month was established in Britain in 2008 as a way of raising awareness of these communities and their contributions to society, and to offset negative stereotyping and prejudices.*

The month offers us all the chance to raise awareness and explore the history, culture and language of GRT communities as well as to challenges myths and prejudice and offer a balanced debate about the issues facing these diverse communities in the UK today. It also celebrates the richness that Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities bring to our everyday lives through their many and varied academic and artistic achievements.

Who are Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities?

GRT communities are diverse, many of whom can be tracked back to the movement of nomadic groups from North India around 1200 years ago. These are most commonly referred to as Roma, Romani, Rom and Gypsy. These groups arrived in the UK around the 1500s, where they joined a host of other indigenous travelling groups, such as Irish Travellers, Welsh Kale, Scottish and English Travellers.**

Watch the animated video below showing the history of Gypsy, Travellers and Roma communities.

Get involved

Friends Families & Travellers are a registered charity working for the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities and have provided these informative downloads.

  • Learn about the history of Gypsy Roma and Travellers here
  • Learn useful words and phrases in Irish Cant, Scottish Cant and Romani Dialect here
  • Take a selfie with this poster here and post on social media.


We know there are many carers within the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, but they often aren’t aware of the carer support available, so we’re working closely with Friends, Families and Travellers (FFT) to reach these hidden carers. If you’re from the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities and looking after someone who couldn’t manage without your help, get in touch with us, or ask FFT to give us your contact details and we will call you.

In the UK, The Equality and Human Rights Commission (2018) notes that the average lifespan of a person of GRT background in the UK is ten years less than that of the UK national average. The Commission also highlights that GRT mothers are twenty times more likely to experience the death of one of their children than mothers generally in the UK. ***

We are here for all carers including ethnically and culturally diverse communities. Contact us if you need support, would like information or to connect with other carers.

** Open Society Foundations
*** www.bcu.ac.uk

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